Sunday, December 07, 2008

Since Last We Met

It's been a busy few weeks. With Christmas just around the corner, I should be decorating the house, buying Christmas presents, writing a tonnes of "Thank You" cards for all those that wished us well after our wedding (at this rate you'll get your one bundled with the "Thank You For The Baby Gift"!), organising a "Thank You" party for the friends who are waiting for their "Thank You" cards(oh yeah.... I still haven't posted the story of us getting married... hopefully I'll do that some time before 2009!), planning where to spend Christmas, deciding what to do for New Years, deciding what to do with myself in the next 12 months, and so much more.

Instead, I've been playing Xbox.

Fallout 3 has sucked up over 50 hours of my life according to the in-game clock, but that doesn't include the times I've reloaded an earlier save to redo a decision I was unhappy with, or all the time I've spent just talking about it with friends. I love how many different versions of the same events people have. "I did this and pick-pocketed him and got this!" "Really? I did this, talked to her, sneaked past him and got this!" "Wow." "That's nothing. I loaded up on shotgun shells, killed them all, and found all this!!" Stunned silence. "But... but... it was a commune of innocent old ladies..." "Bitches had bottlecaps." Awesome stuff.

I picked up Mirrors Edge cheap in a sale in town. I'm glad I did too. It's ok, but frustrating. I wish I'd started it on Easy Mode, as I have no patience for it now. I know that as soon as I get stuck in an area, I'm going to drop it and never go back to it.

In contrast, I borrowed The Force Unleashed off my brother, and started that on Easy Mode after getting sick of Fallout for a while. I thought it would be a nice diversion, running around hacking and slashing with my lightsabre, but I didn't think I'd get much value out of it. Instead, I got totally sucked into the story, pouring over each beautifully rendered cut-scene, enjoying the witty banter the Apprentice throws out, and really enjoying the game far more than I expected. I felt like I cheated myself out of some of the enjoyment by playing it on Easy. But it did mean that I got through the entire game in just a few hours, over two evenings, and got straight back into Fallout!

Thanks to Microsoft's generous offer of making online gaming free to everyone for one weekend, I also spent a lot of time playing Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 with Bob and Aidan. It was my first experience of the Live multiplayer, and we all really enjoyed it. So much so, that we're all going to start a 12 month Gold Membership within the next two weeks or so. That same weekend got me back into Burnout Paradise, and now I'm slowly pulling down the number of Wins required to get my Elite license. It sat above 100 for months, and it's now in the mid 80's... so... sometime before the Xbox 1080 is released I should have that done! Online Paradise is amazing, and loads and loads of fun either with friends I know in real life, or even just racing strangers! Crashing has never been so enjoyable.

And on top of all of those, I've been playing a little Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Tom Clancy's: EndWar. Both games are a whole lot of fun, and deserve a lot more time than I've given to them so far, but I think they're going to wait until I've wrapped up Fallout and one or two others. Claire and I have also been enjoying playing the Xbox Arcade game Fable II Pub Games. Thankfully we don't have Fable II the game, as the town guards would be long after us at this point due to the massive debt we've accumulated! Fortunes Tower is a lot of fun, but frustrating, Spinner Box is the games own one-armed bandit, and we haven't really taken any time to learn where Keystone falls on the randomness scale. Most of our money has been won in Fortunes Tower tournaments, and lost in Fortunes Tower regular play!

Phew. I haven't played this much computer games in years. Hopefully it's just a phase, and in the New Year I can get back to being productive, doing lots of physical exercise, eating well, and writing the great Irish novel of the 21st Century.


No comments: